Category: Internet

Moved to

Moved this blog to To trace things back, started with being hosted on Yahoo Small Business, moved to virpus and now to digitalocean.

The SSDs on digitalocean sold me. Another neat thing is that they have the latest releases of Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, openSUSE etc. Compared to virpus, this is huge, because even though virpus’ images are all about LTS/stable releases, they were a few releases behind . On a different note, Ubuntu LTS releases sound like pun to me: Life’s Too Short – what the hell are you doing clinging on to this release.

Being able to do 2 factor authentication on digitalocean took care of my recent upshot in paranoia (owing to the heartbleed). This is quite a step up from the virpus management interface. Nothing against them, but virpus gave me “too many options”, which led me to worry about all those databases that have passwords. Their images contain a copy of directadmin, which I always hated (it would just blow open your site’s administration, with zero encryption). Then, there was, and again If they can take something away, it would be to collapse everything into a single interface and stop giving directadmin for free, especially when there’s no https.

A word about Yahoo Small Business, it was a nightmare on various fronts. As much I love some of the other Yahoo products, Small Business was a huge mess. I was one of the first few customers to pilot on the SMB India project, and FWIW, installing and running wordpress was such a big deal that featured as an example for customers. I could still not do quite a few things (like slug permalinks), and it was pretty frustrating to run anything that was based off of Perl. If you’ve worked at Yahoo ever, you’ll see what an irony that last statement is.

Cleartrip – Shady Refunds On A Public Complaint System

Update: This post here is the extreme of LOLz we’re talking about here. Doesn’t cleartrip get it that they have to stop using a public forum as a ticketing system?

It is extremely painful to see that one of the top railway booking sites in India has so many problems refunding people’s ticket money.

It’s really funny to see their forum which has people complaining about tickets not refunded, trains canceled, debit cards charged twice etc. We’re almost there into the third decade of Internet revolution, and does Cleartrip need a lesson on how to deal with a ticketed complaint system? Like come on guys, it shouldn’t be an open forum where I come and tell you my name, trip#, debit card# etc. Absolutely ridiculous.

After months of my trip booking+cancellation, I logged in today to re-check my accounts and voila; the money has still not reached my account. It should be a really easy problem to fix. As soon as you get a ticket cancellation, record it in a database which gets replicated to a backup. At the end of every 24 hours, select all transactions that were cancellations from that database and check if an accounts database has any record of money going back to customers. Additionally, if the railways or airlines are involved, join the query to check on another table that records transactions incoming from them. This is an absolutely no-brainer situation for the likes of a web company like this.

Instead, cleartrip relies on their forum for people to come, post and get refunds. Indeed, this makes perfect business sense. If people care, they’ll come, else why the hell should Cleartrip care going refunding money. India is all about numbers, a thousand may go, but a thousand shall come.

URL Shorteners

Was looking at all the URL shorteners out there in the world when I found out that there’s even a Firefox plugin that can let you do it with any service available. Here’s the list of services, and clicking around you can install the plugin somehow too I guess.

One very interesting service is this one: Looks nice, though it does the f***ing same thing.

This post also deserves a Raghuism (quote from Raghu – the quote being nearly in the same context):

Women are like good domains – the nice ones have already been taken, and to find the nice ones left, you have to go to a foreign location.

Quite a thought.

WordPress plugin madness – You don't need them!

I was trying to get the correct plugin installed to do “that” thing. For over 4 hours, I skipped and tested over 50 plugins in WP to get the favorite look done, but nothing helped. Something would not look right – or I’d have to compromise somewhere.

Common sense suddenly struck as I looked up, stitched together a Template file and used a few get_posts and setup_postdata calls to do exactly what I was looking for. Damn those cheeky plugins that redo the same thing over and again but not quite much!

Specifically, I wanted to list out all my posts in (by) a particular category on a page – although I also wanted an excerpt to be printed out for each post. None of the available plugins are able to do this cleanly. Some would say – go edit the php file. Well, if I wanted to do php, why would I use a plugin? And that’s when I thought – yeah, why do I need a plugin anyway. Thus ends my tryst with plugins. I’d use them lesser and lesser, until it’s about some integration with a third tool.